Earlier this year, Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers was quoted as saying, “The majority of companies will be digital within five years, yet the majority of their digital efforts will fail.” I found that to be really compelling, especially when you consider that one of the major contributing factors for this failure is that many of the enterprise technologies companies are using were not designed for the reality of business today.
Given the enormous global dynamics I discussed in my first and second blogs on the topic of digital disruption, it’s not surprising that businesses have struggled to keep up. In fact, if your software vendor offers you a ten-year roadmap, then it’s probably using a crystal ball and educated guesswork. No one can predict the future—but, with the right technology you can build for it.
Cloud computing, ever-increasing processing power, falling storage costs, mobile computing, and the consumer internet have been among the catalysts for transformation. The cloud has transformed the notion of adapting to change, putting the responsibility back on technology vendors to create software that can be rapidly updated to stay in tune with evolving business needs.
Contrast these developments with old-world enterprise systems that were not built for change. They were designed as monolithic systems, require extensive customization to meet specific needs, and are painful and expensive to manage and update. In these systems, scaling up as businesses grow is a long and drawn-out process, leaving little room for businesses to think about innovation.